Walmart Removes .22 LR Purchase Limits. The End of The Great Ammo Drought of .22?

Regular readers will know that I’ve been monitoring the availability of .22 rimfire ammunition at Wal-Mart stores for some time. On Wednesday, I was surprised to discover four buckets of Golden Bullet .22 Long Rifles at the local Wal-Mart, with 1400 rounds each. They were on sale for $73.64 or 5.26 cents per round. What really caught my eye: the signs  declaring a limit to retail customers of three boxes of .22 ammunition a day were nowhere to be seen.

The counter clerk told me the signs had been gone for about a week. I asked him if it was an individual store policy. He said the change that “had come down from corporate.” [TTAG contacted Wal-Mart for comment without success.]

Considerable .22 ammunition has been available at many dedicated gun store for months, but limits were still common, and prices relatively high, often 10 cents per round or more.

That’s changed. Looking at ammo sites that aggregate online ammo, they’ve nearly all removed .22 LR purchase limits. Four brands –Aguila, Browning, Federal, and Remington — are on sale in unlimited quantities for under five cents per round, not counting shipping.

Is there .22 LR available in your neck of the woods? Are there signs limiting the purchase of .22 LR? What is the price of .22 LR in your location?

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Gun Watch


  1. avatar MiniMe says:

    Those limit signs have been gone for close to a year a my nearest wallyworld but it’s a moot gesture since I’ve yet to see any 22LR ammo there.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      I don’t remember seeing any signs, or any ammo, or any shelf space marked for .22 ammo, in recent years.
      I assume they have signs they put on the ammo during the few hours a week it’s sitting on the counter.

      My LGS closed. Meijer has no .22. WalMart had some on a truck at the loading dock the last time I was there, but the guy at the counter didn’t know or care what brand it was and I never cared to make a special trip to town to buy 3 boxes.

      I started buying from Academy last month, free shipping on $25 orders. Mini Mags for 8 cents, Automatch for 5.8 cents (a mistake, it’s too weak to work the slide on my 1911 and it jams in the Woodsman), Champion for 4.4 cents (not as reliable in pistols as the Mini Mag, but I’ll use it to check the tune on my pistols, I now have the Woodsman feeding it nearly 100% after a good cleaning and it should run better in the 1911 with some minor work)

      1. avatar Jeff K says:

        I find the Federal Auto Match to be a totally reliable ammo with very good accuracy; but then I only shoot Rugers.

    2. avatar Doktor says:

      Haven’t seen a limit sign around here in a year either. Forgot all about them.

      There seems truly bottomless supply of ARs all over. One would think that the glut of ARs and .223 ammo would push the price of ammo down even further.

    3. avatar Noishkel says:

      Hell I’ve not seen a single box of .22 LR ammunition in any Wal-Mart across the nation since Sandy Hook. And I was a truck driver all over the mid south for years. Stopping at any store I could get in to to check.

    4. avatar Nigel the expat says:


      Same here. No signs for a while, but no ammo either.

      On the odd occasions I’m in WM at 5AM (the one time I’ll go into that madhouse) I still see the lawn chair crowd camping out at the ammo counter waiting for the truck to come in. They snatch it up in a few min once they roll out the cart.

  2. avatar Aven says:

    They haven’t had a limit at my Walmart for months and there is always some available (mountains of Virginia).

  3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    The cabelas in Tualatin had a sale a couple weeks ago, with no limit. The price was right so I picked up a case.

  4. avatar Roymond says:

    Looks like I’m going to break down and visit Wallyworld.

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    I don’t shoot 22 but there seems to be plentiful ammo of most calibers. Just bought more 9mm from Cabelas today very cheaply. Thanks President TRUMP!?

    1. avatar Noishkel says:

      Heh. Me either. I got into gun culture in 2000/2001, so I kind of started off with cheap AKs, SKS’, and dirt cheap 7.62x39mm ammo. So I didn’t even bother with the dirt cheap .22 ammo when it was actually cheap.

    2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      assuming you went to indiana rather than hoffman to avoid the prickwrinkle tax.
      i don’t think cabela’s ever posted signs, but they had a limit for a couple years. the last flyer they sent out announced the restrictions had been lifted.

  6. avatar Mr.Savage says:

    the Wal-Mart here is still lucky to have a 50rd pack on the shelf, and when they do, it averages $15/50. so I still don’t buy much, the local Big R has small bricks, I think 375rd, for $28. only buy a brick when I clean out the first one.. still too much per round when I can reload my .223 cheaper.

  7. avatar The Rookie says:

    .22 has been readily available and generally pretty cheap where I’m at (upper midwest). I pay a little more, because I almost exclusively use CCI Mini-Mags, but I scored 500 rounds of MM from Gander Mountain a couple months back at about 7 cents/round, which made me pretty happy.

  8. avatar Geoff PR says:

    In central Flori-duh, WalMart only recently has .22lr been available on a consistent basis, and about 74 USD has been the price on that 1400 round pack.

    I sure hope all the hoarders are stocked up…

    1. avatar Craig says:

      The hoarders are still lining up at 0600 at our Wally World in east central Fla to grab everything before it hits the shelf. I gave up a loooong time ago even bothering to look for it. Started purchasing my .22s online.

  9. avatar S.Crock says:

    .22 can still be hard to find in so cal. Quantity limits and 10 cent per round price tags are also common. But honestly this seems like the least of our gun concerns being in ca.

  10. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    My local Walmart has boxes of CCI STD velocity at $3.47 per box of 50. Looks to me like the price has fallen as far as it is likely to, and availability is back to what it should be.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      That’s what it’s running in central PA, too. They had some 50-round packs and bricks of that CCI standard velocity at ours as well.

  11. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    I saw a couple of those at Academy today for 79.99. A week or so ago, I was in Walmart with some people. They knew the girl at the ammo counter, so I ogled the ammo. Their 22lr selection was limited and overpriced. The best deal at the other Academy I go to was the box of ten boxes of 50 Blazer.

  12. avatar Justin says:

    Personally have been buying in bulk online here in SoCal due to the new law affecting ammo purchases. Trying to get 10k of each ammo type I have, and 40k or .22lr. Ammo Seek has me covered for 5k rounds of .22lr per purchase.

  13. avatar Joe R. says:

    Sign of the Apocalypse!

    Btw, you could’ve waited to release the story on Monday. /sarc

  14. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    Signs or no, there hasn’t been a single round of .22 LR at my nearest WalMart in a few years now.

    Somebody out there is still going to every Wally World at the crack of dawn to get all the rare .22 ammo and Hot Wheels.

    1. avatar Doktor says:

      Probably still trying to corner the market. Can’t think of a worse investment.

  15. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

    In Denver I can buy all I want at .08/round. Glad I didn’t, I’ll hold out for .06.

  16. avatar Brian says:

    Purchased three boxes of Federal 525 about two weeks ago from Walmart – $20.97 each. Stock showed a major shipment of 10+ boxes at every Walmart in my metro area. That said, Academy has usually had a good selection of 22 at fair prices, even if not pre-Obama levels. Fed 525 was 22.99 online and in-store at Academy this week, multiple days.

  17. avatar Nanashi says:

    Plentiful and 5 cents in Florida (6 after sales tax). Praise Trump!

    Hopefully 22 rifles will come down with it. I’ve been wanting a Muddy Girl M&P15-22 for a while.

  18. avatar Jake in AK says:

    The 325 round boxes of both Winchester and various federal flavors are still the closest thing to “bulk” .22LR I’ve seen so far- but I’ve kinda given up looking in the last two months, so someone else might know better. Cost was still. 40~55$ for a box of 325 last time I looked.
    I really miss those days of just buying a dozen 500 rd bricks a weekend over summers.

  19. avatar Cadeyrn says:

    Gun show today (NOVA) had a lot of CCI mini-mags for $9 for 100, some lesser brands for less. More exciting, however, .22 mag was selling for $15 for 100.

    If this keeps up, fall will be a wonderful time to re-stock from the long, dark, expensive, drought.

  20. avatar SouthAl says:

    None at the 4 Walmarts I check occasionally. Academy has had plenty in stock though, even the Blazer @ .05

  21. avatar BOOSH! says:

    I was in Walmart about 2 months ago here in south Texas- I saw 3 of those same buckets at the same price. When I asked how many I could buy, I was told, “as many as you want”. Not wanting to be a glutton, I bought 2. I haven’t been back to check since; I bought them in the middle of the day.

  22. avatar Anner says:

    Available and no limits in all size and shape of stores (Walmart, academy, LGS’s) in west Texas.

  23. avatar 16V says:

    Was at a few Wally World’s in the STL area/outlying west in the last week. Not a round in sight, and those that carry it say it sells out to locals within hours of arrival. Gun show prices have fallen for pedestrian stuff, but CCI anything (other than subsonic) is still sold at a premium.

    My local Academy has had jack squat since after the grand opening, Cabela’s sometimes had a little variety. .

  24. avatar El Duderino says:

    Still about $4-$6/50 in WA, when you can find it. Some stores still trying to move 325s for $40-$50 (I guess you pay extra for the convenience of the bigger box).

  25. avatar TruthTellers says:

    .22 LR has been moderately available for about a year now, so the drought was over sometime last year. By drought, I consider that to mean next to no availability, which was the case in 2013-2015.

    Right now, the .22 drought that exists is for .22 Magnum for self defense for handguns. That’s the drought I wish people would focus on in getting Hornady, Speer, and Winchester back into producing .22 Magnum JHP ammo for short barrels.

  26. avatar Louis says:

    Southern NH Walmarts still aren’t getting any. I saw more .22 at the local Walmart during the middle of the shortage than what I do now.

  27. avatar ScholarCat says:

    Most of the time I don’t see any .22 at my local Wal-Mart. I. have seen a few boxes of 50 on a rare occasion. I check out of curiosity and not to buy. I stopped shooting .22 a couple of years ago. I will make a point to check on the sign the next time I am in there.

  28. avatar Isaac says:

    Haven’t check Walmart yet… but cheapish .22 (3-6 cents per round) has been a thing in the red river valley since Election Day without purchase limits.

  29. Wally World in st.pete Florida had mini mag Hollow Points 100 round packs for $7.99 I believe and they had around six or seven hundred rounds that was the only brand and the only flavor. But seriously I almost had a heart attack because that was the first time in a long time I’m talking 2 plus years that I actually saw ammunition on the Shelf or behind the little glass enclosure I should say LOL. And no limit on purchase either none of those stupid signs. I honestly believe that Preppers and the guys that like to buy large amounts had something to do with it but I also believe that store employees were buying these 22 long rifle ammo and selling it online.

  30. avatar GS650G says:

    Someone probably noticed they have millions of rounds in the warehouse and it will take 10 years to all unless they start actually sticking and selling it.
    I don’t think Wal-Mart has good prices or selection. Cabelas beats them on both counts and give military 5% discount. Wal-Mart doesnt.

  31. avatar Joe says:

    They aslo enter your driver’s license number into their computer at the time of purchase. WTF??!!! I had a box of 525 Federal bulk and the kid working the checkout asked for my ID. No problem I thought. He then entered my DL number into their system. I asked why he did that and he said it’s now policy. I told him to keep the ammo. F.. walmart and their ammo buyer database

  32. avatar Not mine says:

    People still buy ammo at Walmart?

    Heck my LGS has had all the ammo one could want, including 22 LR, for the last couple years now. Last week I was there and they had a couple pallets of CCI Mini Mag for $7.99 per 100.

    I have been buying online since about 2011. During the tail end of last shortage people were bragging on gun forums that they “scored” a couple boxes of 9MM at Walmart after trying for 3 weeks while I was getting delivered to my door by the case for $2-$3 a box 50 less for better quality ammo though I understand some can not buy online depending on where they live.

    Around here even now Walmart is significantly higher on ammo that what I can get online and the quality is better stuff. Plus I don’t have to go hunt down someone to open the ammo case which used to take a good 20 minutes or waste money on gas.

    For those that are able buy your ammo now while it is cheap and stack it deep. There will be more ammo shortages in the future though it appears we are good for the next three years buy you never know what will cause the next shortage or price increases.

  33. avatar Mike says:

    Apex NC has CCI 500 round bricks. $34 I think. Last week I bought American Eagle 500 round brick for under $25. Still have 50 round boxes for $2.47.
    Various 9mm under $10 for 50 rounds.
    Oh do I miss the $8 per brick

  34. avatar Jeff K says:

    For almost two years now I have been able to get unlimited 22’s at 5 to 7 cents per.

  35. avatar aircooled says:

    If Wal-Mart has .22 on the shelf, but I absolutely refuse to enter their stores, does the ammo really exist?
    Entering a Wal-Mart in Houston violates the stupid people, stupid places rules.

    1. avatar Matt in SC says:

      If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, does a bear shit in the woods?

      1. avatar Roymond says:

        Only if my pope-on-a-rope is Catholic.

        1. avatar Matt in SC says:

          OK, So if a possum nuts in a tree, does a squirrel plan for winter?

          Best I could come up with, been a long day…

  36. avatar slow joe crow says:

    Forget golden bullets, on Memorial Day weekend my local Sportsman’s Warehouse had CCI Mini Mags on the shelf for $9.99 a box of 100 and Aguila Super Extra for $2.99 per box of 50. I haven’t checked Wal-Mart, since it’s well out of my way.

  37. avatar Dave says:

    I’m seeing quite a bit of 22 at all the walmarts and bimarts here in southern oregon. I haven’t seen any bulk packs (remember the 550rd. federal “red” boxes at walmart?). I’m mostly seeing CCI products (mini-mags, standards, blazer), and winchester superx.

  38. avatar Model 31 says:

    Haven’t looked at the local WM in a while, saw this article, went to see…every caliber presented had plenty of selection and no limits…9mm down to $0.189 a round. Run on ammo is done after 4.5 years in my neck of the woods.

  39. avatar Ing says:

    When .22lr plinking/varmint rounds (not shotshells or premium match stuff that nobody really uses) start showing up on store shelves and staying there for more than a couple of hours, then I’ll consider the drought to be over. So far, where I live, no such luck. The biggest sellers in my area (incl. Wal-Mart) don’t even have a space on the shelves for .22. It’s still strictly behind the counter.

  40. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    I was just at the range where a guy finished off a brick of .22 Federal he bought in ’87.

  41. avatar UTDMatt says:

    Bass pro in Denver got in a pallet of CCI all types and has both versions of the mini mags going for about 8 cents. Also had stingers and quiet. Think I picked up about 1000 rounds this week.

    They’ve been on the shelf for 2 weeks now.

  42. avatar Mike says:

    2013-2016 wasn’t exactly a fun ride for 22LR. Glad it’s over.

  43. avatar Tim says:

    In a Southern California Walmart the person behind the counter stated that he’s only allowed to sell 3 boxes of ammo and it has been like that for a long time. He has no 22LR only 22 shorts. And he has not seen any 22LR or for that matter of much ammo coming at all for shipments. So whoever wrote this article I have no idea where he’s getting his information.

  44. avatar Jeff says:

    The WM here in my town in northeast Oklahoma has tons of .22 ammo now. Just about anything you want, for 5 cents a round.

    The camp crowd has vanished. But we had .22 ammo on shelves in other stores around here the whole time.

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